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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - A Complex Subject/Long Distance between Subject and Verb

Ants, in order to protect their queen and colony, uses the sense of smell to decide whether a visitor to their nest is an intruder.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect: the plural subject Ants does not agree with the singular verb uses.

What helps us identify this question as a Subject Verb Agreement question and identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A long complex subject / a long distance between the subject and the verb

Although this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement error by matching the plural subject ants with the plural verb use, in the GMAT, the addition of the phrase or not at any point after the word whether is considered redundant.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and repeats the original Subject Verb Agreement error: the plural subject Ants does not agree with the singular verb uses.

What helps us identify this question as a Subject Verb Agreement question and identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A long complex subject / a long distance between the subject and the verb

Although this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement error by matching the plural subject ants with the plural verb use, in the GMAT, the word if should be used in Conditionals only. Since in this question there is no condition, if should be replaced by whether.

Think of whether as a choice between two possibilities dealing with the same subject or as a yes/no question.

Example: I do not know whether this will work. (yes or no)

He was not sure whether he wanted banana or chocolate cake. (a choice between 2 possibilities)

Great!

This answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement error by matching the plural subject Ants with the plural verb use

Ants, in order to protect their queen and colony, uses the sense of smell to decide whether a visitor to their nest is an intruder
To decide whether a visitor to their nest is an intruder or not, and in order to protect their queen and colony, ants use the sense of smell 
Ants use the sense of smell to decide whether a visitor to their nest is an intruder, and thereby protect their colony and queen
Ants, to protect their colony and queen by deciding whether a visitor to their nest is an intruder, uses the sense of smell
To protect their colony and queen by deciding if a visitor to their nest is an intruder, ants use the sense of smell